handy tote bags

I did two more applique pieces to complement the two pieces I showed in the previous post and then turned them into two tote bags. The little hen is supposed to be carrying a suitcase!

triangular box

A triangular box this time, with leaves and berries applied because the box was so dull with nothing added. The application of the leaves taught me that with a three-sided box, it would have been easier to embellish the lid before it was constructed. Ah well. I live and learn.

triangular fabric box

a lidded box

My intention today was to make more wired flowers or a coiled pot or two using fabric I bought on Friday. Instead, I used some existing stash fabric to make a lined and lidded fabric box using Fast, Fun and Easy Fabric Boxes, a book by Linda Johansen which I bought from a local charity shop a couple of years ago. I’ve looked through the book many times but had never made a box until today and I’m glad I finally did. It took several hours from start to finish but there’s nothing difficult about the processes involved. This box is just over 4″ square and 3″ high and the book provides instructions for making boxes of different shapes and sizes and I’ve got one or two ideas of my own, particularly with regard to embellishment, so I’m sure that this box won’t be the only one that I make.

fabric box

birdie house

This little box has been a work in progress since the beginning of February but I had problems with the lid design so it was put to one side until I got a eureka moment. That came this morning when I realised that it would look much better with a roof rather than a four-sided pointed lid which was the original intention. Funny how the simplest ideas are often the best. Does it need a chimney now?

The box stands 4.5″ high at the gable end and the sides are 3″ square. The inner box is made from firm card covered with soft cotton fabric and then stitched to the felt. I also added a wire frame to give stability before stitching the felt on. You can see the original design and all four sides here.






drawstring purse

Yeah, yeah, I know I’ve two other things on the go but this morning I opened an email from a friend asking if I would be prepared to make her a drawstring purse to replace a recently lost one so it became a project for this afternoon. I stitched some suede offcuts together to make a piece of a suitable size then backed it with calico before over-stitching a pattern using a thread in the colour of an adjacent piece (although the thread colours aren’t really obvious in the photographs). Using the suede gave me a chance to use my sewing machine’s walking foot for the first time and as they say, it did just what it says on the tin!

The drawstrings are two braid handles from one of those big bags that shops give you. I always use the bag to hold our waste paper, and the braided cord handles are kept because they always seem too good to just toss. Two of them were just the right size for the drawstrings and I stitched a patch of leather at the ends to provide a finger-hold.The red and white lining is quilting cotton.